I was raised out West in a big rollicking family, riding horses by the time I could walk. My earliest memories are of creating stories with my twin sister DJ (on right in photo). As “wombmates”, we developed our own language before we knew English, and by age three, we invented a curious pastime we called “The Rocking.” Each afternoon, we climbed onto a stiff, green couch and rocked in unison until we conjured a trance-like state, entering our stories as though slipping through a portal (honest!). All remnants of our drab living room disappeared, and we found ourselves roaming in a realm of winged horses and adventure. No one ever told us this wasn’t possible, and we often rocked so hard (even in the family station wagon) that our hair tangled into hopeless knots. Yet our mother, who possessed a whimsical streak of her own, never dreamed of telling us to stop, and our older sister Suzi urged us on by contributing plot ideas of her own. To this day, whenever I ask my sisters about details from The Rocking, they can recite the same scenes and dialogue that I recall from our ongoing saga that lasted for years.
DJ, Suzi & Diane on the living room couch that started it all
And the truth is, little has changed…
Today, I continue to embark on these “spirit journeys”, only I enter through the portal of a computer rather than swaying on a dusty, old couch. And I’ve remained so passionate about the power of stories that I earned a Ph.D. in American Literature and Creative Writing. But you can bet I still consult with Suzi and DJ for their insights into my latest novels because they’re veteran storytellers who always make my imagination soar. From the playful pastime of sisters came a magical passport to new horizons—and it’s my hope that you’ll enjoy my novels and the gateways they open to life, love, and the miracle of second chances.
SISTERS WHO ROCK: Suzi & DJ today—as vibrant & adventuresome as ever
Our Heroes Have Always Been Cowgirls…
The above photos are of DJ & I showing our horses at age 8 (our mother made these costumes). We got the bay horse for free, and the chestnut horse came off the racetrack for $100 with the saddle. She bucked me off after this show, but I loved her anyway. Throughout our teen years we acquired many horses for a dollar each because no one else could ride them. In our early twenties, DJ and I rode from Mexico to Canada and back on mustangs caught on BLM land. It took us a year, and we couldn’t have been happier.
When the sunset calls your name, don’t forget to answer